How to Plan an Engagement Party

Last week, we offered some advice on observing the proper etiquette when announcing news of your engagement. This is important, but such a joyous event shouldn’t just be about formalities, it’s also cause for celebration. Once you’ve broken your good news, you may find yourself wanting to mark the occasion in some way. Throwing an engagement party is a great way to come together with your nearest and dearest in honour of this exciting news.

Although not every couple will choose to have an engagement party, there are many good reasons to consider doing so. In particular, an engagement party is an excellent opportunity for friends and family who haven’t met each other to become acquainted. And they are a lot of fun, too! This week, we’d like to offer some tips on holding a great engagement party.

When Should I Hold It?

Typically, it’s best to hold an engagement party within a few months of your announcement. During this time, you’ll be enjoying a exuberant happiness at your recent engagement, but the challenging work of planning your wedding won’t yet have gotten fully underway. In other words, those first couple of months are the ideal time for a party!

Where Should I Hold It?

Traditionally, the parents of the bride host the engagement party. If you’d like to observe this tradition, you should consult your parents about where they’d like to have the party. However, these days it’s much more common for couples to simply host their own engagement party.

You may wish to have your engagement party in a location other than where you currently live. This can be a good idea if the bride and groom are from different places, and you’d like the location to be equally convenient for both sets of friends and family. On the other hand, it may be a lot more convenient to hold your party where you’re currently based. This might be a good idea if you’re planning a foreign or destination wedding, as it will be accessible to those who won’t be able to travel for the wedding itself.

Depending on the type of party you wish to have, you can choose almost any type of venue. If suitable, your home, or your parents’ home, is a great choice. Alternatively, a function room at a hotel or restaurant is an ideal environment for getting everyone together. Bear in mind that many of your guests will never have met before, so an intimate setting is desirable.

Who Should I Invite?

Etiquette dictates that you shouldn’t invite anyone to your engagement party that you won’t invite to your wedding, and this should usually be observed if you’re planning a more formal type of engagement party. However, there are some situations where it may be a good idea to invite people whom you won’t invite to the wedding. As we mentioned, if you’re holding a destination wedding, an engagement party is a good opportunity to celebrate with those who won’t be travelling. If you’re having an informal engagement party, there’s no problem with inviting co-workers or other acquaintances who won’t be invited to the wedding.

Depending on the type of engagement party, you may wish to send formal invitations, or simply spread the word by e-mail and word of mouth.

What Kind of Party Should I Have?

This is up to you, of course! It can be anything from casual drinks to a fancy meal. A formal engagement party will typically involve a meal, but could also be a cocktail party with hors d’oeuvres or tapas. An informal party can be anything at all — think barbecues or bar parties. Whatever type of party you chose to have, remember the most important thing is that it should be something you find fun!